Minimalism is often perceived as people living with the bare necessities. Two jumpers, one pair of jeans and a house with functional furniture but nothing more. A lot of people tend to see it as a challenge or game.
‘You own 3 plates, and yet I own one and therefore I am clearly more minimalist than you’
For many people, this might be their vision of minimalism.
I personally see minimalism as living my life without the clutter. Removing the stuff which drains my energy, dominates my time and does not contribute to my overall happiness. In a nutshell minimalism is about identifying the people, experiences, material possessions and goals that add value to your life, and the ones that don’t.
Too often we get caught up doing what we think we should be doing, such as working 60 hour weeks because society tells us that’s important if we want to be successful, when really we should be using those hours to do the things we love. Even if that is just curling up to read a book and let your mind escape for a while.
For me, living minimally means living with a life filled with my favourite things, people and experiences. In order to assess that I am doing it correctly and consciously living a happier life, I have asked myself a series of important questions.
If you are considering how your way of life currently reflects on your favourite things, perhaps you could benefit from answering the questions below as well:
What are my top priorities in life? What matters to me most?
My top priorities, as listed on previous posts are:
Spending quality time and sharing memories with my husband, family and friends.
- Buying less, experiencing more.
- Putting my health first.
- Seeing more of the world.
And a couple of new ones:
- Reading as much as I possibly can
- Eating clean
Where is my favourite place to spend time at home?
I love my living room. Within it I feel calm thanks to the cool grey décor, surrounded by items which are important and useful to me, and comfortable. It is where I write the majority of my blog posts, read my books and cuddle with my cats.
The reason the room resonates so much with me is that it is the one room in my house that I have completely overhauled since buying, and everything in there has been chosen for a functional purpose.
Where is my favourite place to spend time outside of the home?
When I lived in Manchester, my favourite ever place to explore was Lyme Park. I could have done the same walk around the grounds every day and not got bored.
Now I live in York, I love going to what my husband and I have aptly named ‘secret bay’. This hidden cove is a quiet place where we like to retreat to, relax and enjoying ourselves away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
I think I love both the above places as they allow for solitude, time to think, and time to adventure.
Who do I love to surround myself with?
My small but incredible group of friends and my family.
What activity that I currently do on a weekly basis do I dislike?
At the moment, a big stress of mine is trying to find something to watch on the television when unwinding with my husband.
I often spend 30 minutes just deciding on something I can pretty much deal with watching and personally I see this as time wasted.
I love series such as Parks and Recreation, The Office (US) and I pretty much gobble up any documentary.
Perhaps I need to spend some time finding another way to unwind, or creating a to-watch list rather than fretting in the moment.
How do I relax?
I relax by taking a long soak in the bath listening to my calming Spotify playlist, and then tend to read a book surrounded by vanilla and white musk candles.
If this isn’t possible, I go for a long walk.
What are my favourite possessions? Do they matter more than anything else?
- My books (cheating a little here) but honestly I love them because I get so much joy from reading them, but also from sharing them with others to read. I see our home and bookshelves as a mini library. So many books have left my shelves to go to others, and so many books have come from others and been enjoyed. This is why I keep so many books in an otherwise minimal home, to me they are a chance to encourage others to experience the incredible stories within their pages.
- My phone is my connection to friends, family and the greater world. I use it to Instagram, blog and to take thousands of photos (one of my passions). However as previously described, I need to perhaps use it less.
- Our secret bay painting lovingly created for us by my mother-in-law. I love the painting as it was a truly perfect housewarming gift, but also because it hangs in my favourite room, reminding me constantly to focus on what makes me happy. If things are getting stressful, my favourite place is just an hours drive away.
- My Hard Drive because on it is all my photos, pieces of writing and music. Things I wouldn’t be able to replace if they were lost.
As for the rest of the things that I own, although I love them find them practical and use them regularly, I don’t need any of them to be happy.
I instead see my favourite things as travelling, adventures and places rather than material possessions, and I couldn’t be happier.